NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ816140
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Apr
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-1364-436X
George MacDonald's Estimate of Childhood
Pridmore, John
International Journal of Children's Spirituality, v12 n1 p61-74 Apr 2007
The nineteenth-century fantasy writer George MacDonald believed that "it is better to be a child in a green field than a knight of many orders." In this paper, I shall explore the bearing of this high estimate of childhood on spiritual education. MacDonald explores the spirituality of the child in his essay "A Sketch of Individual Development" and in the studies of childhood in his fiction. MacDonald's understanding of childhood is shaped by his reading of the Romantics and of the teaching of Jesus about children. MacDonald moves beyond his sources, notably in his reflection on the redemptive possibility of suffering in childhood. He regards childhood not so much as a stage in life to be left behind but as a condition to which to aspire. He sees in childhood an attunement, both with nature and with the nature of things, and a sharp awareness of "the other and the beyond". He holds that these are not transient characteristics, features of a passing phase of life. They belong rather to our fulfilled humanity, to our well-being at any age. Thus, childhood becomes a continuing moral and spiritual goal. (Contains 1 endnote.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A